Sunday, March 25, 2007


This photograph was probably take sometime in the early 1880s. The man seated in the center is Jonathan Moorhead, my great-great-grandfather. He was born in Senecaville, OH in 1828. He died in the same town in 1903. He is pictured with his five sons. (There were also three daughters.) Seated left is George, 1851-1932. Seated right is William Franklin (Frank), 1853-1908. Standing behind Frank is Langdon, 1860-1948. Standing center is my great-grandfather, John Swazy, 1862-1948. Standing left is Jacob, the youngest son, 1864-1914. It was Jonathan's father, Alexander, who moved the family to Senecaville in the early 1820s.

Jonathan was a lumber merchant and brick manufacturer. He was also a Civil War veteran. (It is obvious by the years in which his sons were born that Jonathan got home a couple of times during the war!) John Swazy was a railroad agent, school teacher, and mayor of Senecaville.

There is a story is told of John Swazy during the days that he was the school teacher. He was apparently a short and slight man. (None of the Moorheads in our branch of the family exceeded 5'10". John was much shorter!) The older farm boys in the one-room school could be a little difficult to control. So great grandpa John, who drove a horse-drawn carriage to school, took his rifle with him. At the lunch break he took the boys out back for some shooting practice. He was such a crack shot that the boys gained a new respect for him and he never had a discipline problem in school again.

My grandfather, William Bright Moorhead, was born in Senecaville in 1898. He married and moved up to Flint, MI where both my dad and I were born.
The most significant part of the Moorhead story for me is that every one of the men in my genealogy has been a leader in the church. Jonathan and John Swazy were Bible teachers in the Methodist Episcopal Church. My grandfather and my dad have also been elders and teachers. I am grateful for the godly heritage the Lord has given me.
(If you don't see our buddy Jonathan from the Head of the Moor comment here, somebody call him or something. I wanted him to see this for sure! I mean, we may be distant relations but the guys in this picture are more closely related to his family than he and I are!)
Thanks for your patience!


At 3:07 AM, Blogger bluecollar said...

I enjoyed your look back in time. I love that kind of thing.

BTW, you talked of shortness... I'm only 5'7"... Guess I better take up rifles and target shooting! :)

At 6:40 AM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...


My dad is the tallest Moorhead going back to the old man in the picture. Dad is 5'10. My son, Caleb, is 5'9". I'm third at 5'8 1/2"!

By the way, I forgot to mention in the post. The Moorhead name has died out in the lines of my great-grandfather's brothers. My dad and his brother were the last two Moorheads in our family. My uncle only had daughters which left it up to my dad. I am the only boy in our family so the pressure was on me, the Last of the Moorheads! I came through with two sons so now it's up to them!

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

P.S. Blue,

You may be 5'7" but I'm guessing you might weigh about twice as much as old John Swazy Moorhead! I don't think the farm boys would have given you any trouble! Of course, they didn't have much time for weightlifting back then so maybe you would have been smaller?

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Anne of The House said...

That's way more heads!

At 5:31 PM, Blogger bluecollar said...

Dave, did you know many of the towns in Mich. are named after those in New York because many people moved from here to there?

At 8:23 PM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...


(How do you like the way I Frenchified your name? It was a typo and I decided to leave it. Kind of adds some class don't you think? Bleucollier?)

No, I didn't know that our Michigan cities were named after New Yorkers! Let me see...

Mr. Grand Rapids
Mr. Detroit
Mr. Battle Creek
Mr. Kalamazoo
Mr. Sault Ste. Marie

Yeah! I can see it now!;-)

At 8:13 PM, Anonymous "Queen Mum" said...

What a coincidence, this looks just like a picture we've had on our wall for the last 15 years!

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Hi Mom! Glad to see you have learned how to register your comments in the blogosphere! Congratulations! Quite an honorable accomplishment! (OK, watch out you guys! My mom's on the loose! What if she finds YOUR blogsites?)

At 9:17 PM, Anonymous sys said...

Hey It's SYS I am pleased to report that I gave our mom the keys to blog world. sHE IS AN AMAZINGING SENIOR CITIZEN ON THE COMPUTER.

At 5:08 PM, Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

Quite a handsome bunch. That is very interesting. Thanks Dave!

At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see your site. I also have a copy of that picture because I'm a grandson of Rosetta Moorhead Melone, Jonathan's youngest child. As a boy I met John Swazy Moorhead several times. Glad to know you have sons that might carry on the moorhead name.


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